Tag Archives: tcw novels

Our top 10 Star Wars books of 2010

Can’t end the year without a list, can we? Here are our staff’s picks for the ten best books of the year.

Be sure to check out more favorites at StarWars.com. They asked us to do the literature portion, but other contributers include Kyle Newman, Ashley Eckstein, TFN’s Eric Geller, Steve Sansweet, and Bonnie Burton!

10. Star Wars Year by Year: A Visual Chronicle by Daniel Wallace, Pablo Hidalgo, Gus Lopez, and Ryder Windham
Rounding out the list is the one book that has it all. Expanded Universe history? Check. Oddball merchandise? Check. Museum exhibits? Early versions of Yoda? Mark Hamill on Broadway? Check, check, and you better believe it. Star Wars Year by Year compiles over four decades (yes, four) of highlights, lowlights, and trivia – think of it, perhaps, as The Essential Franchise Chronology. But its scope goes beyond Lucasfilm productions. The authors also spotlight various milestones in science, pop-culture, and politics, giving readers a sense of the events that helped shape Star Wars, as well as how Star Wars changed the world. – Stooge

9. The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance by Sean Williams
Setting the stage for the eventual release of The Old Republic MMO, Fatal Alliance builds up the worlds and character types, and then throws them all into the fray against a new threat. Sean Williams captures the look of this era, and brings together some new enjoyable characters. It’s a heist caper that unfolds into a tale of espionage and war. It takes a little while to set up the players, but the endgame is well worth it. - James

8. Millennium Falcon: A 3D Owner’s Guide by Ryder Windham
The saga’s most iconic ship is revealed! Ryder Williams’ text is sparse but clever, the illustration work by Chris Trevas and Chris Reiff shines, and the layer-by-layer design is icing on the cake. Kids will love it and adults will delight in the technical specs and (in-character!) modification notes. It’s a just plain fun book – certain to entrance even the most jaded fan for at least a little while. – Dunc

7. Fate of the Jedi: Vortex by Troy Denning
With Luke and Ben and their new Sith allies having defeated a more sinister evil, you’d think that Troy Denning would take it easy on the Jedi Order, but Abeloth’s demise in Allies is just the beginning of a series of explosive events. Faster that you can say “Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal”, the Sith bring it. Chief of State Daala brings it. The Mandalorians bring it. Tahiri’s prosecutor brings it. So it’s up to a couple of Jedi, and Han and Leia to strike back – and when they bring Lando and droids to help, you know it’s going to get heavy as the Jedi shake things up against their adversaries. - James

6. The Sounds of Star Wars by J. W. Rinzler and Ben Burtt
A book that needs a volume button? Not to worry, this is more than just a gimmick. To fully explore the audio awesomeness of Ben Burtt, The Sounds of Star Wars has a built-in soundboard which plays over 200 (unmixed!) effects from that galaxy far, far away. So you can read about the crazy ways he made these sounds, then listen to the fantastic end results! Plus, Mr. Burtt has enough behind-the-scenes stories to fill ten volumes – and for a quadruple Oscar-winner, he’s remarkably humble. - Stooge Continue reading

New from Sue: Darth Plagueis novel resurrected

You will never watch the opera scene with a straight face again.This morning, NJOE posted about a listing they’d found for a James Luceno Darth Plagueis novel scheduled for 2012. I was doubtful (after all, the book was canceled) but it was brought to the VIP thread, where Sue confirmed that the book has indeed risen from the dead:

Yes, apparently a database has leaked this upcoming hardcover that will follow Palpatine’s rise to power and his Master, Plagueis. “Not Yet Published” should have read: “Not Yet Announced.”

I’m very hesitant about this: I believe that Palpatine’s backstory, like Yoda’s, is one the EU should give a wide berth, and I can’t fathom that it’s possible to do that effectively with story of his Sith Master.

(Of course, given what I really want out of this story, it’s probably for the best that I don’t make these decisions.)

Sue also said this book is not the replacement for Imperial Commando #2 (we might hear more on that next week) and that no more adult Clone Wars novels are planned through the end of the current contract.

Review: Karen Miller’s Clone Wars Gambit: Siege

Obi-Wan and Anakin are still stuck on Lanteeb, a planet far in the Outer Rim and of seeming little consequence. The Lanteebans pose no apparent strategic value to the Republic or Separatists; it’s an attitude that grossly misjudges the efforts of captured scientist Bant’ena Fhernan. She’s been hired to construct a virus to end all viruses, a massive biological weapon that will sway the war in Dooku’s favor, but getting materials for it isn’t easy. The key ingredient, damotite, lays deep within the sinuous mines of Lanteeb and Separatist overseer Lok Durd rides the locals hard with threats of drastic food and water rationing if his unreasonable quota and timetable aren’t met.

Against all impossibilities, the Lanteeban’s work furiously every day, risking damotite poisoning to please Durd. When Anakin and Obi-Wan crash their vehicle and end up stranded in the mining city responsible for churning out the dangerous material, the two are welcomed only as long as the villagers don’t know they’re Jedi. Naturally, an invading droid army and a failing shield barrier that forces the pair to use the Force for self preservation were probably unavoidable inevitabilities. Continue reading

Out this week: The last (maybe?) Clone Wars novel

…For the time being, that is. (And not counting the kids stuff, because there are just not enough hours in the day.) Yes, it’s The Clone Wars Gambit: Siege by Karen Miller, starring Anakin Skywalker and his lustrous hair, in bookstores today.

The new Diamond shipping list ought to be up this afternoon due to the holiday, but Midtown Comics is listing The Old Republic #1 – aka the print debut of the ‘Threat of Peace’ webcomic – to be in stores Thursday.

Also, I’ve redone our book schedule page a tad in order to make it easier to keep more new releases and additional links (like reviews) up top.

Review: Karen Miller’s Clone Wars Gambit: Stealth

Karen Miller’s high regard and curiosity concerning Obi-Wan Kenobi is quite charming. In her second Star Wars book, Clone Wars Gambit: Stealth, every character has a lot to shoulder in the war, even (and especially) Obi-Wan.

Ahsoka has more to consider as Anakin’s Padawan than the teachings of the Jedi Order. She cares for his well-being and has learned how to read her Master’s emotions to help herself navigate and deal with his temperament. Anakin struggles with the responsibilities of being the Chosen One. What he feels they should do, what he should do as such a prominent figure, conflicts often with the wider doctrine of the Jedi, not to mention how delicately he juggles his forbidden relationship with Padmé. Obi-Wan still wrestles with his misgivings as a teacher and his emotions over the health of a dear friend. It’s clear, though, that as Bail Organa brings a frightening new element in the war to the Jedi’s attention, this cast of extraordinary beings have rather ordinary problems.

All things considered: Obi-Wan and Anakin, for as much as they remain larger than life figures, symbolic of the Jedi Order and its potential, are still forced to deal with their very human emotions and drama. After a harrowing skirmish on Kothlis, Anakin and Obi-Wan are forced to realize they both need some much needed rest. Obi-Wan is still running a bit ragged from his encounter on Zigoola; Anakin and the entire galaxy agree. The pair are sent to Lanteeb anyway–a planet of no consequence until recent Separatist actions pique the Republic’s curiosity. Their physical wounds may be healed, but Anakin and Obi-Wan learn the hard way: some scars never go away. Continue reading

EUbits: Catching up with Karen Miller’s Gambit

Gambit: Stealth cover teaseStealthiness. Our pal Mandy at TheForce.Net interviewed author Karen Miller this week, touching on the writing life, tie-ins and (naturally) subtext.

On that note, while I’d like to start doing review roundups for the books, but they can sometimes prove difficult. Witness: Even at almost a month out, I was only able to find two for Clone Wars Gambit: Stealth. NJOE’s MizzeeOH found that she enjoyed the book, but not as much as Wild Space; Hendel D’bu found it engaging, and especially praises the battle sequences. There’s always the review thread on the TFN boards if you’re dying for more.

More interview. Star Wars Books catches up with John Jackson Miller

Fanboy games. StarWars.com has a peek at Pablo’s Head to Head, pitting Chewbacca up against a wampa.

The Old Republic is starting up a new webcomic and adding Belsavis, aka the planet from Children of the Jedi. Random!

Poll. io9 asks which expanded universe is most unnecessarily. I suppose it depends on what you consider necessarily… I mean, I can’t for the life of me get excited about some nice-sized chunks of the Star Wars EU, but I could also care less about BSG or Lost outside of their primary formats. To each their own, I suppose.

The fandom minute: Defending TPM, subtext, politics, cake, and other things you do under the cover of night

Rebuttal. Big-time prequel fan Bryan Young has begun his response to the 90-minute Phantom Menace review that was going around a while back.

Presented without comment. Karen Miller, whose Star Wars books have been enthusiastically received by certain areas of fandom, wants folks to know that she’s not writing homoerotic subtext into her Clone Wars books. Okay then. (It seems the rant was inspired by this thread. Sigh.)

If we ever see an Essential Guide again… Suggestions for a book on GFFA politics. Dan Wallace is game!

Cakes! Clone Wars’ fame continues to spread with an impressive Republic Gunship and an adorable Jabba with Rotta. (via/via)

Crass fansumerism. Chewbika or soap? A bank?

EUbits: The Gambit marches on

Gambit: Siege. The official site has brewed up the summary for Karen Miller’s final Clone Wars novel. Beware of spoilers: The book is a direct sequel to next month’s Gambit: Stealth.

And in other previews… Teasing the next installment of John Jackson Miller’s Lost Tribe of the Sith, coming February 10th.

Gaming, sort of. Artist Terese Nielsen talks to StarWars.com about her character portraits for WOTC’s latest miniature line.

Interview. Jason Fry talks Atlas with Gelf Magazine.

Namesake corner. Neat Mara Jade drawing.

Random House summer catalog brings our first The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance blurb

PLEASE NOTE: FOR SOLICITATION ONLY. FINAL COVER TO COME.Random House’s Summer 2010 catalog has surfaced, and naturally, it contains some Star Wars items. Mostly old news, like for Fate of the Jedi: Allies (page 81,) but the listing for Sean William’s Old Republic novel (page 89) has a summary:

Smuggler Jet Nebula has stumbled across a treasure richer than he ever dreamed. The Hutts want to auction it to the highest bidder, be it the Republic or the Empire, both of whom hope to bolster their chances in the coming conflict. But the Sith are interested, too, and they don’t bargain with anyone; the Jedi High Council is sending someone to investigate; a mysterious Mandalorian is chasing something connected to a long-forgotten crime; while a spy plays every side at once. What Jet has unearthed will surprise all of them, and leave none of them unchanged.

(‘Jet Nebula’? Really?)

There’s also a cover for the book, but don’t get too excited. It’s ‘for solicitation only’ and the art looks like a still from the MMO’s trailer. And given that the listing doesn’t use the full title (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance) its possible that some of the catalog info may already be outdated.

Also making a showing is Star Wars Generations (page 91) and Clone Wars Gambit: Siege (page 97.)